Monday, November 29, 2010

My Magic Wand

Forgive me for the late post...

Last Monday, we made a quick, last minute decision to get out of town quickly. We were planning on driving to my homeland on Tuesday, but after watching the weather on Monday, we jumped in the car to beat a blizzard. Apparently we scared it away. After making the drive, mostly through the night, and two trips to Target to prepare for a two day hopeful shut-in... Well, let's just say we were prepared and disappointed. However, I did get to play with Noreen for a short time.

This morning, I am playing host to 3 flu sick kids. My washing machine has been in constant motion since 4 am. Am I bad (or just honest) to admit that I don't mind my little guy getting sick. He's so lovey and cuddly and ... still. I'd do anything for him right now (which could take me on a tangent of why I think men are babies when they get sick because their moms were so happy to have them sit still). But today, I'd give anything for a magic wand to make them all better.

But since I can't find the magic, we just made a wand to try to entertain the sickies.

Here's what I had:

* a dowel
* an eye screw
* silky ribbon (I did about 6 feet)

1. Screw the hook into the end of the dowel.

2. Fray check both ends of your ribbons. Then tie one end to the hook.

3. Let them play.

I'm off to make some chicken noodle soup...and fold more laundry.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Family Time Around the Dinner Table

You'll have to excuse me for not actually making something this week. I'm on vacation visiting some family for Thanksgiving and I didn't bring my crafting supplies with me. Not to mention we are all "hunkering" down waiting for the worst blizzard in 30 years and so when I was running errands today, I decided to stock up on food and DVD's instead of crafting items.

I did, however, visit with one of the other contributors to this blog and it was a fun reunion! And if you remember my post from last week when I talked about living on a cul-de-sac with my college roommates and their families?...yep, we brought up the idea again, and again the husbands didn't look too excited (wait, I take that back. HER husband was totally excited, but this is the same man that picks purses out for her and she really loves them....i need her husband to give tips to mine.) But I digressed.

Anyway, this past week my kids were fighting about the iPhone App coasters (click here for that post). They were "dibs-ing" the one they wanted. In order to keep the peace, I came up with a little game that they all loved and they beg to do it every night now. (What have I done?)

I turn all the coasters upside down and they choose one. Each app icon represents a question I'm going to ask them about their day and it's exciting to hear what they have to say. So here are my questions to each app....I'll start from the top left icon and move across.

(under the glass) Message Icon: If you could text message Mommy or Daddy during school today, what would you have said?

Camera Icon: Think of your whole day and try to remember something you would have loved to take a picture of. Describe it to us.

Picture Icon (flower): Can you remember a time that a picture was taken of you? Describe the time/place/event and what you can remember about it.

Facebook Icon: Think of someone you haven't talked to in a long time or haven't seen and tell us who it is and why you'd want to talk to them.

Words with Friends Icon: Tell me about a conversation you've had with your friends today.

Date Icon: If you were to write in your journal about today, what would you say?

Scriptures Icon: Tell us your favorite scripture story.

Phone Icon: We did a fake phone conversation. I pretend to call them and they can make up who they are and we have a short conversation.

Weather Icon: They got to name a few places in the world and we looked up the weather in those areas.

Map Icon: I told them that we look at a map to make decisions and plan where we're going. What decisions good or bad did you make today and what direction did that decision send you.

iPod Icon: Sing us a song you like or tell us about a song you like or let us guess the song if you give us hints.

Email Icon: Anything can be done in email. This was kind of like a free space that they could choose what they wanted to do.

We've had some really good family conversations. I've heard things that I would never have known if we didn't play this. One rule I have for myself is that I can't get mad at their answers. I'm hoping to foster so good communication at dinner. I have plenty of time to get mad at them when they don't clear the table or do the dishes.

So here's to making your family bonds better over dinner.

Friday, November 19, 2010


This week's post idea has had me in a predicament. I want to share my Sweet Potato Casserole recipe but I didn't want to make it just for the pictures, feed it to my family and then make it two more times on Thanksgiving Day for my in-laws and my side of the family. That's overkill in the yam department!

So I've decided to share it sans pictures. I want you to have it pre-Turkey Day. It's the dish that I'm asked to bring every year for the past eight or so years. It's that good! It's a conglomeration of several recipes that I've tried over time.


Sweet Potato Casserole

4 cups cooked sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
(or 2, 29 oz cans drained of syrup)
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 c evaporated milk
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup flaked coconut

1 1/2 cup crushed cornflake cereal
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecan
3/4 cup butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 9/13 casserole dish.
  • In a large bowl, using a mixer, mash the sweet potatoes and mix in the sugar, beaten eggs, 3/4 cup melted butter, evaporated milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, marshmallows and coconut. Scoop the mixture into prepared casserole dish.
  • Bake 35 minutes or until sweet potatoes are slightly firm (like a cheesecake.)
  • In a small bowl, mix all topping ingredients. Spread over top of baked casserole.
  • Return casserole to oven and bake additional 10 minutes.

Now I know there are a lot of people questioning the addition of coconut. Believe's fine. It adds additional texture and sweetness. A lot of people don't even notice it. But if it totally grosses you out, leave it out. Should be fine. But don't tell anyone you got the recipe from me. I don't want my name attached to a casserole that is "fine." ;-)

Also, because of nut allergies, I usually omit the pecans from the topping. I don't need a bunch of puffy-tongued family members trying to enjoy their turkey! Tastes great with just the cornflakes as well!

And because I can't stand to have such a naked blog post, I borrowed the pic below from Flickr until I can come back and add my own pics.....

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Etching & Stuff

Do you have a friend that makes you happy whenever you talk to them even if it's 10 times a day or twice a year? Do you have a friend that makes you want to be a little bit better because she has so many qualities that you admire? Do you have a friend that would do anything for you so you have to be careful not to take advantage of her kindness? Do you have a friend you can rely on for anything?

I do. I'm blessed to have many friends like that.

I have 6 friends from college like that. I would love to live on a cul-de-sac with all of us. We could have our own reality-show I think! (You know 2 of them because they post here...and the other 4 are just as fun).

I'm also blessed to have friends like that in my life now! With my job, my three kids, my church responsibilities, I couldn't do it without them.

Why am I talking about this? Because I did today's "idea" with one of these dear friend Allison. She's one of those friends!!! And we have fun this weekend we got together to make a present for her neighbor.  It was her neighbors' 50 Wedding Anniversary. 50 Years!!! WOW!! So we decided to make a little wall hanging for her friends Floyd and Nancy.  This is what we made:

This is how we made it:

We bought a frame, some etching paste (see picture), some hanger things (because we take off the back of the frame). We also needed some hot glue and we had cut-outs in vinyl.

We had the 50 cut out backwards so we could apply the etching to the back of the glass and put the vinyl on the front of the glass.  In real gives it a little bit of depth and makes it look cool.

So, apply the vinyl to the glass.

Then apply the etching cream LIBERALLY to the glass. Don't won't eat through the vinyl. But make sure its on there pretty thick and pretty uniform.

The instructions on the bottle says wait a minute, but that didn't seem to work too well, so we waited about 5 minutes...actually we were chatting, so we really don't know how long it sat there.

Then we rinsed it off and pulled off the vinyl. BE CAREFUL when pulling off the vinyl.  Allison cut herself :(

Isn't it cute? Now to apply the name!

So, before replacing the glass into the frame, we added the little hangy thing (see blue arrow) will need a hammer for that. Then we placed the glass in the frame and took our glue gun and basically caulked it into the frame (see the yellow arrow).

One thing I've done before is place two of those hangy things in each corner and then run ribbon through and tie at the top so it can be a hanging frame. But we did it this way and it looked cute.

Of course you can do this with make things like:
Friends in vinyl and Sisters Etched
Name of family or couple in vinyl and year married Etched
Name of daughter in vinyl and Princess Etched
Name of mission in vinyl and Called to Serve Etched (for those Mormons out there)

It turned out cute even though at the same time we were certifying for cub scouts, entertaining children, chatting about life and having a great time. I love spending time with my friends (that includes my's to 39 more years till we make 50 honey)!

Happy Anniversary Floyd and Nancy!

And don't forget to take some time to hang out with friends, especially those one's you can't live without. And if you it on our facebook page. We'd love to see what you come up with!

Today I linked up to:

Sew Much Ado
The Thrifty Home 
Someday Crafts 
Blue Cricket Design 
The Trendy Treehouse 
Lucky Star Lane 
Hope Studios 
Suzy's Artsy-Craftsy Sitcom
Paisley Passion 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a ... Garland?

Last week I trekked to Wal Mart in search of Fuzzies. I was preparing to teach the children at church about service. We talked about how helping others gives us the Warm Fuzzies and we also give the Warm Fuzzies to the people we help.

I showed them my jar of Warm Fuzzies that were trapped inside. They were wanting to get out. Each child was given a small baggie with 4 warm fuzzies inside. The challenge is to find ways to serve others. They will try to find 3 different people to help. They will then give them a warm fuzzy and they get to keep one warm fuzzy for themselves.

All went well with the lesson.

And then I came home with a jar of warm fuzzies that were dying to get out.

Christmas is on my mind right now.

That's right. I went there. I know to some it's forbidden, but for others, decorating can officially begin in 11 days and no one can grinch at you after that day. But in order to Deck the Halls, you need to be ready. So I'm getting ready with some Warm Fuzzies today.

I'm a very Type A personality. Decorating my Christmas tree is MY job. Everything has to look just right. (This is why I usually decorate it at night after the kids have gone to sleep).

But I don't want to lose too many points in the Good Mommy category, so I've come up with another option. I place a smaller tree at the top of my stairs. This one is covered in big colored old-school lights. This is the tree that houses all the ornaments made at school. This is the tree that the kids get to decorate. They get total control.

So I'm stringing my warm fuzzies and turning them into garland for my kids tree this year.

It was as simple as grabbing a needle and thread. My little Cookie was in charge of handing me the fuzzies and deciding on the order they went on. I doubled up the string, like sewing on a button, and only made it the length of my arm. Then when I got to the end of the string, I knotted it off and started over with a new string. I simply took the new string through the last one I had just done and continued on.

And for some more info on those warm fuzzies I was talking about at church, Watch This. I've got more Warm Fuzzies to string.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Little Orphan Trashie

This has to be one of my favorites in my small furniture re-do collection. And here’s why….because I found it by a dumpster behind the grocery store! True story. I happened to take a detour behind a strip mall after I left the grocery store and as I approached a large dumpster, the clouds opened up, a ray of sun shone down and I heard a chorus of angels. There it was. Sitting next to a dumpster.

There are apartment buildings nearby so I assume someone was moving out of an apartment and decided to abandon it there. I hopped out of the car to examine it while my son sat strapped in his car seat yelling, “Mom, what are you doing?” I think my sudden stop and jumping out of the car with out saying a word may have concerned him. I jumped back in the car, flew home and told my husband to get in his truck and go rescue it! He promptly obeyed. Good man, that guy! Once it got to my house and I had more time to examine it I was pleased. It’s a wood dresser. Kind of narrow. Perfect for my living room! I had been searching thrift store after thrift store for the perfect piece to put against a bare wall. Who woulda thunk I’d find it in the trash?! I like to think of it as divine intervention.

After it sat in my mom's garage for a bit (3 months but who's counting) I carried out my plan of attack:

It had obviously come from a home where housekeeping was not a priority. At all. So it needed a little bit of cleaning. There had been food left on the top and there were some pen marks on it so I decided to use this:

It took off any goo and primed it for painting. Although the top had a thicker coat of varnish on it so I roughed that up a bit with my orbital sander with a 150 grit.

I had lots of Behr Cafe Creme paint left from this project so I decided to use it. And I needed something light in my living room of dark leather furniture.

It was missing some of it’s knobs so those obviously needed replacing.

Did a little distressing with some sanding and stain wiping. I thought walnut stain would be too dark so I used a tint called "Early American."

Polished it up with some Minwax Paste Wax.

And here’s the pathetic little orphan that I rescued!! Isn’t she pretty??

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Plan B or C

So I had this very cute project all done, I took pictures of it last night and was going to blog about it today, and this morning when I came downstairs I saw that it fell apart. I didn't have time to fix it, so I hurried the kids off to school and came into work. I thought, hmmm...Should I just not post today? I can't tell them how to do a project knowing that it might fall apart on them. So, I was resigned to go with plan B...which is just skip this week.

But in my delusional mind, I have an audience who awaits my projects from week to week. I think that's the same world where I'm skinny, don't have any gray hairs and my kids are easy to get ready in the morning. Alternate universe or not, I decided I needed to go with Plan C which is find something on my desk at work and make it into a great idea. My eyes fell upon my little cup full of binder clips. And this is what I came up with.

You know all that "scrap paper" that you mean to use? Well, here's a way you can make little notebooks for your kids or your purse (or man bag). Just clip the clips as a binding and take off the metal handles.  Wallah! (sp?) Just make sure you save the metal handles to reattach the clips or to refill your note pad.

I know it's not my usual project, but I don't think it's tooo bad for Plan C.
Looking around the internet I found other great uses for these fun Binder Clips. 
Maybe you have some great ideas that you want to share.

This is one of my favorites. For when you just need to walk out the door, this would fit nicely in the pocket. I found this pic from here.

Oh, my kids' bathroom could use this. I found it here.

So, cute! I just don't have the patience. But I think my daughters barbies would be extremely happy. I found these here.

Such a cute idea for a picture holder or place card holder, right? I found these here.

I think this looks cool, but what kind of life do you live that everything comes in perfectly sized stacks of paper. I was trying to blow up this picture to see exactly what those papers were. Was it an extensive chore chart? Flash cards? and then i read it and it said business cards. I don't know about you, but I don't have that many business cards at home. I found it here.

When I saw this I had to steal the picture because it goes along with Debbie's Monday post.
Weird huh? I call this the college picture frame. I found it here.

I love adding a little bling to everything and so I had to show this picture of the binder clip bling. I found it here.

I think this is a great idea for cards and even RECIPE cards while you're cooking. I found it here.

I LOVE this idea. I've used binder clips to keep my cords together, but I like this. Always accessible for my iPhone and my Nook. LOVE IT! I found it here.

And lastly, I just thought this was cute. This is something my son would do.
In fact, I might challenge him to see if he can reproduce this!!

 A couple of more Binder Clip uses are:
- chip clip
- you can build your own ipod dock (go to and search)
- I've used them as clothes pins.
- okay...I'm about to confess...I used them once to hang a blanket in front of a window because we didn't have curtains yet. It was so ghetto!!!
- kids use them to help them build forts with the blankets.
- I've used them to keep game cards together in the game box.

O.K. I'm going to make sure the project I had planned for this week is all set for next week because it's really cute. Until next week!